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Sunrise over the south shore.

Deer hunters are back on the trail starting this week

Deer hunting begins for 2016 on Nantucket tomorrow morning a half hour before sunrise.

This first of three deer hunting seasons is archery or, bow hunting season. It runs Oct. 17 through Nov. 26. Shotgun season starts Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 10, and the primitive firearms deer season begins on Dec. 12 and ends on Dec. 31.

Those of us who love to explore the island wilderness should bear in mind that deer hunters can hunt from 30 minutes before sunrise through 30 minutes after sunset six days a week. There is no hunting on Sundays. Hunters must hunt at least 500 feet away from occupied structures.

Be aware that cottontail rabbit season runs partially concurrent with deer hunting season from Nov. 15 through Feb. 28. Don't worry, you can't miss the rabbit hunters who make quite a racket flushing the rabbits. However, off island rabbit hunters usually hunt with several Portuguese Podengo dogs, which can be aggressive. If your dog(s) like to chase rabbits, you'd do well to steer clear of where these hunters are operating lest your dog(s) get caught up in the hunt and possibly injured.

You and your dog(s) as walkers on lands open to hunting around the island should for your own safety, wear fluorescent orange hats and or clothing. Get at least a neon orange color for your dog(s). These can be found at Geronimo's. Also talking loudly as you walk along alerts hunters to your presence.

For a complete rundown of hunting season dates for the various species of wildlife hunted in Massachusetts, click here.

Enjoy this island and be safe!